Are you there, God?

How do you define the divine? Table Talkers weigh in on their idea of God, this week.


Salon Staff
November 17, 2006 4:00PM (UTC)

Mind and Spirit

"Evidence" of (Some Kind of) God

Raspberry - 01:37 pm Pacific Time - Nov 15, 2006

What are things you experience or have experienced that are, to you, footprints of, manifestations of, signs or arrows pointing towards, or other indications of the existence of something you might sometimes call God? Your God-concept need not be in any way traditional. Your "evidence" need not be scientific. It need not meet the standard of convincing skeptics or cynics. It only needs to be something that, for you, fosters your sense of and your experience of the existence of, in the words of a friend of mine, The Great Whatever. Respectful responses, dialogue and questions welcome; wholesale dissing of religion or the religious, spirituality or the spiritual, not so much.

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Not to be clichéd (which is itself a cliché, damn!), but ... parenting. Yes, the birth of my children, but also the matching of my friend's adoptive children with their "forever families." I don't mean that I believe, as my husband does, in the "finger of God" mucking around specifically in human affairs at times. Just that I am filled with a sense of awe and wonder at what brings parents and children together, and that when I experience that most deeply, I feel connection to some cosmic force of Parenting, perhaps even a cosmic Parent.

For starters.

Mendocino - 02:20 pm Pacific Time - Nov 15, 2006 - #3 of 17

Awe is good!

Raised Catholic, got tired of the hypocrisy during the '70s, left the Church. Nearly two decades pass. My sister gets a relapse of her breast cancer. Mom's having a hard time dealing with it, so I fly home to be with both of them. As was our usual custom, they all (Mom, sis, BIL) pick me up at the airport and we go to Red Lobster. Mom has a seizure of some sort. I yell "CALL 911!" Ambulance comes, we get her stabilised, she's got to be admitted to the hospital. Turns out one carotid artery was almost fully blocked and she needed surgery in the next couple of days to clear it.

She's admitted in a Catholic hospital. On the day of her surgery, I'm there for hours on end, the doctors are running late and we wait and wait. When she gets wheeled into the operating room, I decide to go to the chapel and light a candle and pray for her, and for my sister. I am in there all by myself, sobbing uncontrollably, crying, asking God to take care of these two people whom I love so much. Then I felt God's presence. Right there. With me. Around me. Inside me. I suddenly experienced this wave of complete calm and bliss and I knew right then that Mom would come out of the surgery and be fine. It literally felt like God was hugging me and reassuring me. I've never felt anything in the world like it.

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Unfortunately, a few months later, my sister succcumbed to her disease. When I went home again to attend her funeral, in the church we grew up in, it felt so right, like I had come home. Her death and her funeral were what brought me back into the Church. It's been five years now and I haven't regretted it since.

Nicola O. - 09:52 pm Pacific Time - Nov 15, 2006 - #12 of 17

To reveal my inner geek, the study of higher math in college, especially statistics, kind of gives me goosebumps. The normal distribution: a way of containing chaos, of describing randomness in a way that gives it predictability, and applies to so many completely different kinds of chaos ("populations," in statistic-geek-speak) ... it just blows my mind.

Kitten - 08:24 am Pacific Time - Nov 16, 2006 - #16 of 17

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Yeah, I don't know if I believe in GOD, per se, but the amazing symmetry and organization and intelligence in nature makes me feel that there is some force out there. I don't believe in creationism and I'm a rabid evolutionist! But I just see these things and think there might be some guiding force in the Universe. I don't even know. If nothing else I see this thread as a place to list the things that amaze and inspire. I'm also not invested in proving the divine as an external being that mucks about in our lives and sends us to heaven or hell. I do enjoy seeing the divine within the mundane, though.


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